Showing posts with label Dept of Public Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dept of Public Health. Show all posts

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Annual Report Of The Franklin Health Department: FY 2023 Report

Mission Statement

The Franklin Health Department is charged with protecting the public health and well being of the community, in accordance with federal, state and local public health laws and regulations. The duties of the health department cover a wide range of public health control and prevention activities, including: disease surveillance; the promotion of sanitary conditions in housing, recreational facilities, and food establishments; elimination of nuisances; the protection of the environment; and numerous other responsibilities.

Board of Health

The three-member elected Board of Health is the policy making arm for the Health Department. The board members assist in the drafting of public health bylaws and regulations. The board also presides over administrative hearings concerning health department licensed and permitted activities. The board members are utilized for consultation on issues relative to public health as well.
  • Chair, Bridget Sweet
  • Vice Chair, Timothy Cochrane 
  • Member, Jeff Harris


The current Health Department staff is as follows:
  • Cathleen Liberty, MPH, Director of Public Health 
  • Ginny McNeil, Health Agent
  • Maureen Canesi, Administrative Assistant J
  • ohn Robertson, Regional Health Agent 
  • Alisha Deptula, Public Health Nurse 
  • Cassia Monterio-Regional Epidemiologist

Goals achieved

The health department held their first fall and spring health fairs at the library where over 400 community members attended the fall health fair and over 600 community members attended the spring health fair. The Public Health Nurse and the fire department held hands only CPR trainings for the municipal staff. An interactive website has been created to offer the community healthcare resources and services which can be found on the health department website. A website has been created for those who need resources for those at risk of homelessness or who are homeless. The link to the website is on the health department website.

Hours of Operation

The Franklin Health Department office is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 8:00AM to 4:00PM, Wednesday from 8:00AM to 6:00PM and Friday from 8:00AM to 1:00PM.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Board of Health members and the Town Administrator for giving me the opportunity to serve as the Director of Public Health for the Town of Franklin and for their continued support.

Respectfully submitted,

Cathleen Liberty, 
Director of Public Health

The full Health Dept report can be found in one PDF ->

The full Town of Franklin FY 2023 Annual Report can be found online

Annual Report Of The Franklin Health Department: FY 2023 Report
Annual Report Of The Franklin Health Department: FY 2023 Report

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Mass. Public Health seeks your input on survey: "What makes a community healthy and strong?"

"We know the experiences of people with disabilities are unique and nuanced – which is why we're asking you to take our Community Health Equity survey. 
Your answers can help us develop new ways to improve accessibility for all in MA:"

Shared from ->

Mass. Public Health seeks your input on survey: "What makes a community healthy and strong?"
Mass. Public Health seeks your input on survey: "What makes a community healthy and strong?"

Friday, June 2, 2023

Weekly Wellness Update - World No Tobacco Day

Today (May 31, 2023)  is "World No Tobacco Day"! The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 8 million people a year -tobacco kills up to half of its users! 
Find out tips and steps to quit smoking: 
Weekly Wellness Update - World No Tobacco Day
Weekly Wellness Update - World No Tobacco Day


Friday, April 21, 2023

Franklin Health Department: Wellness Update - Youth Sports Safety Month

It's Youth Sports Safety Month. 

Help your kids enjoy their favorite sports safely. 

Explore some tips from the CDC to get you started:

Franklin Health Department: Wellness Update - Youth Sports Safety Month
Franklin Health Department: Wellness Update - Youth Sports Safety Month

Saturday, December 31, 2022

New York Times: "Epidemics That Weren’t: How Countries Shut Down Recent Outbreaks"

Benjy Renton (@bhrenton) tweeted Thu, Dec 29, 2022:
It is important to acknowledge the instances globally in which the public health system worked as it was designed — outbreaks that were mitigated and prevented through community trust, rapid vaccine deployment and an effective public health workforce.
"While cutting-edge vaccine technology and genomic sequencing have received lots of attention in the COVID years, the interventions that helped prevent these six pandemics were steadfastly unglamorous: building the trust of communities in the local health system. Training local staff in how to report a suspected problem effectively. Making sure funds are available to dispense swiftly, to deploy contact tracers or vaccinate a village against rabies. Increasing lab capacity in areas far from the main urban centers. Priming everyone to move fast at the first sign of potential calamity."
Shared from Twitter ->

Volunteers received training on how to conduct safe and dignified burials for Ebola victims in Mubende, Uganda, in October.Credit...Luke Dray/Getty Images
Credit...Luke Dray/Getty Images

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

"more worried about what the implications of that lack of trust in public health" (audio)

"When the coronavirus vaccines first emerged, they were shown to have 94 to 95 percent efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.

It was a situation where the message from public health officials was fairly simple – get the shot and help prevent the spread of the disease. Vaccine mandates, passports, and other measures were all deemed smart public health policy.

But as variants of the disease began to appear and multiply, the vaccines couldn’t keep pace. Infections spread rapidly and Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, said public health messaging couldn’t keep up."
Continue reading the article online at CommonWealth Magazine ->

Listen to the Codcast interview upon which the article is based ->

Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center
Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center

Friday, November 18, 2022

Conversation with Franklin's Health Director Cathleen Liberty - 11/08/22 (audio)

FM #880 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 880 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Franklin's Health Director Cathleen Liberty  November 8, 2022. We had our conversation via virtual conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

The recording runs about 36 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Cathleen. Audio file ->


Metacomet Health page ->

Health Dept page

Health Dept - COVID reporting dashboard -> 

Board of Health page

Sign up for Health alerts via Regroup -> 

The Topic podcast -> 


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial. 

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.


How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.


For additional information, please visit  or 

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The TED Interview: "A future without pandemics? with Mark Smolinski"

"In 2011, when medical doctor and epidemiologist Mark Smolinski was working as a science advisor for the blockbuster film “Contagion,” the film ran a campaign that asked communities: “What are you gonna do to prepare for the next pandemic?” 
A decade later, as the president of Ending Pandemics–a social venture that aims to predict, detect, and prevent disease outbreaks on our planet– Mark is still thinking about how we can rid the world of pandemic disease. 
In this episode, Mark shares why we use big data to track disease, explains how our interconnected ecosystems shape public health, talks about why ending pandemics is an achievable goal, and argues that local communities are the ones who can lead the way in understanding–and preventing–the spread of illness."
Listen to this episode online here or search for it in your favorite podcast app

Sunday, July 31, 2022

MA Senate & MA House Pass Legislation to Strengthen Local Public Health Services

The Massachusetts State Senate on Friday passed legislation to address disparities in local and regional public health systems. The bill, also known as the Statewide Accelerated Public Health for Every Community (SAPHE) Act 2.0, would encourage wider technical coordination among Massachusetts’ 351 separate boards of health, establish common standards among these boards, and ensure that these boards of health are funded equitably. This legislation implements the unanimous recommendations of the Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health and was a key recommendation of the Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management’s July 2022 report. This bill also follows the historic $200.1 million that the Legislature included in the December 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) bill to support the state’s local and regional public health infrastructure.

“All residents should be able to expect high-quality public health services regardless of where they live,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “This legislation puts into practice the lessons learned during the pandemic by increasing support for local boards of public health and ensuring that all communities in the Commonwealth are well prepared to respond to public health challenges. I want to thank Senator Comerford for repeatedly diving into the many technical aspects of public health in Massachusetts, bringing to light the importance of public health to our communities, and for crafting this legislation.”


“With the passage of this legislation, a person’s zip code will no longer determine the public health protections that they are afforded and local public health officials will have the resources they need to do their jobs,” said Senator Jo Comerford (D-Northampton), Senate Chair of Joint Committee on Covid-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management and also of the Joint Committee on Public Health. “I am deeply grateful to Representatives Hannah Kane and Denise Garlick, Department of Public Health and Health and Human Services officials, the Massachusetts Public Health Association, and all who advocated for a better day for public health. That day has come.”


Currently, Massachusetts does not have a public health framework to guide local boards of health. SAPHE 2.0 directs the Department of Public Health (DPH), in consultation with municipalities and other stakeholders, to develop a set of standards for local public health systems in accordance with national standards and the recommendations of the Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health. Standards will be set for communicable disease control, public health nursing services, food and water protection, chronic disease and injury prevention, environmental public health, maternal, child and family health, and access to clinical care.


The bill also directs DPH and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to provide core public health educational and training opportunities and technical assistance to municipal and regional public health officials. This will help to prevent a situation from arising in which a board is unable to access health expertise from a credentialed member of the public health workforce.


To help ensure a sustainable state funding mechanism that addresses regional inequities and differing qualities of public health preparedness throughout the state, this legislation directs DPH to estimate annually, before the governor files a budget, the funds needed for local and regional health boards to meet the minimum standards set forth in the bill.


By enhancing and incentivizing cross-jurisdictional sharing, the bill will result in cost savings and more effective service delivery. The bill creates a uniform reporting system which includes metrics for inspections, code enforcement, communicable disease management, and local regulations, and will make this data available (excluding personally identifying information).


Having passed both Senate and the House of Representatives, this legislation will be laid before the Governor for his consideration.

Link to the legislation text can be found ->

The Massachusetts State House JESSICA RINALDI/GLOBE STAFF
The Massachusetts State House JESSICA RINALDI/GLOBE STAFF

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Beacon Hill Roundup: Conf Cmte agreement on veterans services; possible reshaping of local public health; tax cap to be triggered

Lawmakers reach agreement on Soldiers’ Home governance
"LEGISLATIVE NEGOTIATORS have come to an agreement on how to overhaul the governance of the state’s two Soldiers’ Homes in Holyoke and Chelsea. 

A bill released Wednesday evening lays out a new administrative structure for the homes, which elevates the Secretary of Veterans Services to a cabinet-level position while also creating a new independent Office of a Veterans Advocate. The bill represents a major bureaucratic restructuring with multiple levels of oversight and administration aimed at improving the management of the homes.  "
Continue reading the article online
With time short, lawmakers seek to reshape local public health

"THE LEGISLATURE is poised to dramatically reshape Massachusetts’ local public health landscape, after the COVID-19 pandemic spotlighted just how inadequate it is. 

“I’ve been doing this work for almost 25 years and it’s just astounding to me the opportunity that we’re being presented with here, and the fact that the Legislature really understands the importance of delivering services fairly and equitably throughout the Commonwealth,” said Cheryl Sbarra, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards. “It’s something those of us involved in local public health have been dreaming for our whole careers.” 
Continue reading the article online

Long-forgotten tax cap about to be triggered

"WHILE LAWMAKERS scramble to put together a package of tax breaks in the final days of the legislative session, a little-known law from the mid-1980s is about to alter the Beacon Hill debate over tax relief.

Record tax revenues in fiscal 2021 are expected to trigger the state’s tax cap for the first time in more than 30 years, setting the stage for Massachusetts taxpayers to claim sizable credits on their 2022 returns.

The exact size of the credits is unclear because some of the information needed to calculate them is not yet available. But sources say the amount of money at stake could be significant. It’s also unclear whether the return of the money under the tax cap will affect ongoing discussions about a package of tax breaks and cash payments to residents totaling roughly $1 billion.

The tax cap is one of those laws that has largely faded from memory. It was passed by voters in 1986, in the midst of the so-called Massachusetts Miracle. Put forward by Citizens for Limited Taxation and the Massachusetts High Technology Council, the ballot question sought to restrict how much tax revenue the state could take in, limiting the growth in revenues to no more than the growth in total wages and salaries."
Continue reading the article online

A chart showing allowable tax revenues and net tax revenues since 1987.
A chart showing allowable tax revenues and net tax revenues since 1987.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Town of Franklin - Health Department: COVID-19 Test Kits

Franklin Health Dept. received 68 At-Home COVID-19 test kits. Call 508-570-8433 for a free kit & location pickup.  
Limited Supply. 1 test per household member.


Town of Franklin - Health Department: COVID-19 Test Kits
Town of Franklin - Health Department: COVID-19 Test Kits

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Weekly Wellness Update - April is alcohol awareness month

April is alcohol awareness month. 95,000 people die from excessive alcohol use in the U.S. each year.  
Learn more at:

Weekly Wellness Update - April is alcohol awareness month
Weekly Wellness Update - April is alcohol awareness month

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Health Department update: National Health Observance - heart disease

"February's National Health Observance is Heart Disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women. Learn how to reduce your risk at:"

You received this message because you are subscribed to the [Town of Franklin-Health Department] group.

Replies to this email will go to the Town of Franklin-Health Department group. To reply only to Alisha Deptula, email

Visit this topic here:

Sign up for alerts for Health (in this case) or for others from the Town here ->

Health Department update: National Health Observance - heart disease
Health Department update: National Health Observance - heart disease

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

“What makes a society if you can’t even get together around keeping your people healthy?”

"Why Public Health Faces a Crisis Across the U.S." 

"State and local public health departments across the country have endured not only the public’s fury, but widespread staff defections, burnout, firings, unpredictable funding and a significant erosion in their authority to impose the health orders that were critical to America’s early response to the pandemic.

While the coronavirus has killed more than 700,000 in the United States in nearly two years, a more invisible casualty has been the nation’s public health system. Already underfunded and neglected even before the pandemic, public health has been further undermined in ways that could resound for decades to come. A New York Times review of hundreds of health departments in all 50 states indicates that local public health across the country is less equipped to confront a pandemic now than it was at the beginning of 2020."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)
A protest against a vaccination mandate in Staten Island, N.Y., in August.Credit...Yana Paskova for The New York Times
Credit...Yana Paskova for The New York Times

Saturday, October 2, 2021

"the Constitution did not allow Americans always to behave however they chose"

"The United States owes its existence as a nation partly to an immunization mandate.

In 1777, smallpox was a big enough problem for the bedraggled American army that George Washington thought it could jeopardize the Revolution. An outbreak had already led to one American defeat, at the Battle of Quebec. To prevent more, Washington ordered immunizations — done quietly, so the British would not hear how many Americans were sick — for all troops who had not yet had the virus.

It worked. The number of smallpox cases plummeted, and Washington’s army survived a war of attrition against the world’s most powerful country. The immunization mandate, as Ron Chernow wrote in his 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Washington, “was as important as any military measure Washington adopted during the war.”
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)

Health officials in Newark checked smallpox vaccination status in 1931.Credit...Bettmann, via Getty Images
Credit...Bettmann, via Getty Images

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The year of understanding: COVID-19 and the humanity of the unvaccinated - The Boston Globe

"For the most part, people are looking for answers, but the cards are stacked against them in this digital world. Every health care provider has had that one ardent unvaccinated conspiracy theorist who refused to believe that COVID is real despite showing them their trashed lungs on the CT scan, all while they’re on high-flow oxygen. Anecdote holding the power that it does, that patient runs the risk of coloring our perception of all unvaccinated patients in this same light. But, instead, my charge to health care providers is this: Take a meaningful pause and ask, “How did this person get to this point?” And understand that their condition is in part due to the challenges of the common person trying to understand complex medical science and being influenced by those with alternative agendas.

That same night, I diagnosed a young woman, with three young kids, with lung cancer. She was a smoker, and she knew that smoking can cause cancer. How is her situation any different from an unvaccinated person with COVID? How many of us would stand at the bedside in her tragic hour and berate her for smoking? How many of us would, upon learning of someone’s death from cancer, say flatly, “Served her right”? If she said. “I didn’t think it would happen to me,” would anyone really say, “Whelp, I hope you survive” as we walked out the room? These are statements I have heard said to or about unvaccinated COVID patients in a recent week. Clearly, this does nothing to foster that trusted relationship between a physician and their patient.

When I asked my unvaccinated COVID patient what was keeping him from getting the shot, he said he had read online that the vaccine gets into your DNA and he was afraid of what that would mean. So I sat down on his bed and spent a few minutes drawing a picture of a cell and nucleus, and explained in simple terms how mRNA works and why his DNA is not at risk. His next question was, “How soon can I get the vaccine?” He then called his kids and told them the same, and they asked where they could get the vaccine. While not successful in every encounter, I’m optimistic about the ripple effect that these little wins may have. And damn it if we don’t need a win now and again. In our most fundamental charge, “doctor” means “teacher.” This is the year where we understand. This is the year where we teach."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)

Anti-vaccination protesters near Los Angeles City Hall on Aug. 14. Earlier that week, the City Council voted to require proof of vaccination to enter many public indoor spaces in the city.DAVID MCNEW/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Anti-vaccination protesters near Los Angeles City Hall on Aug. 14. Earlier that week, the City Council voted to require proof of vaccination to enter many public indoor spaces in the city. DAVID MCNEW/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Senator Becca Rausch: Our Public Health Victory

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Dear friends, 


Greetings from Beacon Hill! I hope all of you are enjoying the final days of summer and gearing up for heading back to school in just a couple of weeks. 


Throughout this pandemic, I have been leading the fight to protect our communities' health and well-being. Most recently, I've been laser focused on ensuring our children and teachers can return to classrooms safely this year. Time and again, Governor Baker and his administration rejected the scientific evidence and data-driven recommendations to mask up everyone age 2+ in schools. Thousands of you engaged by sending me emails, posting to social media, signing an open letter petition to the Governor, and contacting your friends, family, and neighbors to join us. 


And it worked. 


Earlier today, thanks to your advocacy, the Board of Education authorized universal indoor masking in K-12 schools all across the Commonwealth until at least October 1. Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, school committee member, public health expert, or advocate -- this victory belongs to you.  


Our fight for science and safety is not over, of course. This mask mandate is the floor, not the ceiling. It does not apply to childcare, nor does it does not set up middle and high schools for success after October 1, according to some experts. I am grateful to know that we are in this together


My goal throughout this fight has always been to give our children the safe, supportive, and successful school year they deserve. We can only achieve that through statewide data-driven public health measures, such as the one approved today. 

Let's celebrate, and let's keep going.  


Yours in service, 

Senator Becca Rausch 

Our mailing address is:
The Office of Senator Becca Rausch
Massachusetts State House, Room 218
24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Sen. Rausch, Supporters Testify in support of Community Immunity Act

Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Representative Paul Donato (D-Medford), lead sponsors of the Community Immunity Act, testified alongside healthcare providers, public health experts, and educators testified at a virtual Public Health Committee hearing today in favor of the Community Immunity Act (S.1517/H.2271).  

This legislation seeks to prevent the spread of highly infectious diseases by promoting and supporting localized herd immunity statewide. The Community Immunity Act strengthens the Commonwealth's immunization policies by standardizing the immunization requirements for all schools, daycare centers, and other covered programs and centralizing within the Department of Public Health (DPH) the processes for obtaining an exemption from those requirements. 
Currently, Massachusetts does not have localized herd immunity across the state for many vaccine-preventable diseases. Of the kindergarten programs that submitted data to DPH in 2019-20, 145 kindergarten programs are below herd immunity rates for measles, 119 kindergarten programs are below herd immunity rates for pertussis, and 71 programs reported at least 10% of students are missing one or more vaccines required for school, without an approved exemption. 
Furthermore, DPH lacks complete data on immunization rates in daycare centers, K-12 schools, summer camps, and colleges because data reporting is voluntary. In the 2019-2020 school year, 451 middle schools, 520 kindergarten programs, and 1,677 daycares and preschools failed to report any immunization data to the MA Department of Public Health. Moreover, according to recently available data from DPH, in 2020 18.8% of kindergarten students in Suffolk county, 14.4% in Franklin county, and 8.6% in Hamden county are not meeting school vaccination requirements. Under current statute, school and program administrators are charged with implementing certain immunization protocols, including vaccine exemption requests, rather than medical and public health professionals.  
“As has become blatantly obvious over the last year and a half, every Bay Stater deserves strong public health protections. COVID reminds us that our collective health and safety rises or falls together,” said Senator Rausch. “If ever there were a time to advance the Community Immunity Act and its comprehensive immunization infrastructure, that time is now.” 

“Senator Rausch and I filed this bill long before COVID hit because even then Massachusetts had a serious immunization infrastructure problem, and we had already seen multiple outbreaks of measles and other illnesses that we can prevent with vaccines,” said Representative Donato. “We all know a lot more about community immunity now. All of us are living through the consequences of what happens when we do not have strong public health infrastructure and herd immunity against infectious diseases.” 
More than 20 religious, educational, medical, and public health organizations support the Community Immunity Act including: 
  • American Federation of Teachers – MA Chapter 
  • Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA) 
  • Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) 
  • League of Women Voters 
  • Massachusetts Association of Health Boards 
  • Massachusetts Association of Health Offices 
  • Massachusetts Association of School Committees 
  • Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents 
  • Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners  
  • Massachusetts Health Council 
  • Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association 
  • Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association 
  • Massachusetts Infectious Diseases Society 
  • Massachusetts Nurses Association 
  • Massachusetts Medical Society 
  • Massachusetts School Based Health Alliance 
  • Massachusetts Teachers Association 
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners – MA Chapter 
  • National Association of Social Workers – MA Chapter 
  • Progressive Mass  

Link to full press release:

Link to doc with quotes from organizations participating

school vaccination requirements
school vaccination requirements